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6-month stay granted in Picasso legal dispute

December 3, 2004

CHICAGO -- A federal court in Chicago Thursday granted a motion by the defense for a six-month stay in a dispute about the ownership of a Picasso painting.
U.S. District Judge David Coar granted the stay until May 2 so the California Supreme Court can have time to decide a related lawsuit. The dispute centers on questions about who owns "Femme en blanc" ("Woman in White"), a Picasso oil painting valued at more than $10 million. Authorities in Europe say the Nazis looted the work of art in 1940. Thomas C. Bennigson, of Oakland, Calif., heir to a survivor of the Holocaust who owned the painting and who is the defendant in the Chicago federal case, says he is its rightful owner. Marilynn Alsdorf of Chicago claims to be the owner.

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